UB vs. JMU

Should I go to University at Buffalo or James Madison University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if UB or JMU is the better college for you.

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University at Buffalo vs. James Madison University comparison
University at Buffalo James Madison University College 3 College 4
University at Buffalo James Madison University
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Location Buffalo, NY Harrisonburg, VA
Setting Large Suburban Small City
Students 31,503 21,751
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $6,870 $7,250
Tuition (Out of State) $24,540 $23,064
Room & Board $13,723 $10,512
Avg Net Price $16,120 $16,154
Avg Grant Aid $8,198 $8,556
% Receiving Grant Aid 67% 28%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 55.9% 71.1%
Avg High School GPA 3.2 3.57
Admissions Standards Very High Difficult
Applicant Competition Low Low
ACT Range 24/29 23/28
SAT Range 1160/1330 1120/1290
Application Deadline Jan 15, 2020


Graduation Rate 71% 81%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $58,400 $60,300
Making Student Loan Payments 70% 83%
Median Student Loan Debt $19,500 $20,899
Median Loan Payment $201 $216
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Comparable Facts

  • University at Buffalo is larger than than JMU based on total student enrollment (31,503 students vs. 21,751 students)

UB vs. JMU Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, UB or JMU?

  • James Madison University is 5.5% more expensive to attend than UB for in-state tuition ($7,250.00 vs. $6,870.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 6.4% higher at UB than James Madison University ($24,540.00 vs. $23,064.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at University at Buffalo than JMU ($16,120 vs. $16,154)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at James Madison University are 30.5% lower than costs at University at Buffalo ($10,512 vs. $13,723)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University at Buffalo than James Madison University (67% vs. 28%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by James Madison University students is 4.4% larger than aid received University at Buffalo ($8,556 vs. $8,198)

UB vs. JMU Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, UB or JMU? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between JMU or UB .

  • The average SAT score at University at Buffalo (1173) is 39 points higher than at JMU (1134)
  • Incoming UB students have a 2 point higher average ACT score (27) than students at JMU (25)
  • JMU has a higher acceptance rate (71.1%) than UB (55.9%)

UB vs. JMU Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, UB or JMU? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between JMU and UB.

  • The graduation rate at JMU is higher that University at Buffalo (81% vs. 71%)
  • Graduates from James Madison University earn on average $1,900 more per year than UB graduates after ten years. ($60,300 vs. $58,400)
  • University at Buffalo students graduate with a $1,399 lower median federal student loan debt than JMU graduates. ($19,500 vs. $20,899)
  • UB graduates are paying $15 less per month on federal student loans than JMU graduates. ($201 vs. $216)
  • More JMU graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former UB students, three years after graduation. (83% vs. 70%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/